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Copyright (c) 2012 Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law


Spring, 2012

University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law

33 U. Pa. J. Int'l L. 871


Humza Kazmi*


1. Introduction
The Roman orator Cicero is credited with the phrase "Silent enim leges inter arma" - "When swords are drawn the laws fall silent ... ." 1 The nature of counterinsurgency conflict belies Cicero's statement - in counterinsurgencies, laws must instead be vibrant and active in order to secure success. Rather than a convenience that can be restored at the cessation of hostilities, the rule of law should play a fundamental role in the conflict. While it may be possible for an incumbent power to succeed in a counterinsurgency without a strong focus on the rule of law, this success will likely come at an extremely high cost in terms of military resources, civilian life, and international legitimacy.

1.1. Definitions
This Comment will deal with terms such as "counterinsurgency" and "the rule of law," which have gained a certain cachet in contemporary discourse. Yet, there can be significant disagreement on what these terms mean. In some cases, this disagreement arises from confusion on the precise meaning of a broad phrase, 2 while in other cases, multiple terms have been used to cover closely related, yet distinct phenomena. It is important to clarify what is meant by these critical terms, so that this Comment can progress without any confusion.

1.1.1. The Rule of Law
In September 2010, the University of Pennsylvania Law School hosted a conference entitled Rule of Law Reform in Iraq and Afghanistan: Challenges for the Coming Decade. 3 Topics addressed at ...
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